Thursday, July 18, 2013

Project Runway Season 11 Episode 14 (Finale Part 2)

Well, the next season of PR has just kicked off - so I guess I should finally get back to my long-neglected recap of the final episode of session 11. (Here's where we left off...)

In preparation for the finale shows, the three finalists commence with the editing and remaking. Patricia in particular knows she needs to create some kind of cohesion. They all get another trip to Mood to help with their efforts. At this point, Stanley seems to have his remaining work under control, and Michelle is feeling good, whereas Patricia is struggling the most, with four outfits yet to make.

At the makeup consultation, the emphases are on sexiness for Stanley's girls and more color for Michelle's. And for hair, less mess for Michelle's and horsehair in Patricia's! Then we get a little check in from the season 10 winner, Dmitry, making a dress for Heidi.

Then, the final consultation with Tim. He tries to convince Michelle to leave off the clip-on compass from one of her looks as being one steampunk gear-turn too far, but she gives him the "I'll take it under advisement" stonewall. Tim tells Stanley it looks like all his clothes were purchased from a vintage store, which Stanley takes as a compliment, though I'm not sure that's how Tim meant it. Tim is very worried about Patricia, who is dealing with unexpected holes in her leather pants and has lost track of all kinds of things (scarves, chiffon) in her disorganized area. Much smirking commences from the other camps.

As the model fittings begin, Stanley appears to be back in the weeds again. He's actually constructing garments on them as he goes. He's short on the fabric he needs for a long skirt. Michelle is very annoyed at her competitors' seeming lack of preparation. Stanley is still pattern-making! Patricia is still coming up with a cohesive collection! And sewing hundreds of sequins! In contrast, Michelle is just putting in zippers.

At this point, their ex-contestants/helpers leave, and we are treated to a little family visit. Patricia's two children do the twist with her. Michelle is joined by her brother and her husband. Stanley's partner and mother show up, and his mother wishes she could stay and help with the sewing. Tim feels bad when he has to swoop in and take them away again.

They have to have everything they want taken over for the show packed up by 5pm. Michelle helps Stanley do his packing - he still has four dresses and a shirt to finish, and at least a little work remaining on every single other look! Well, he'll just keep sewing backstage.

The day of the show, they get up at 2am. Michelle puts on a crazy Kentucky Derby style hat. Backstage, Stanley immediately puts all of his dressers to work sewing. Michelle just has a little steaming and pressing to do, and kindly loans four of her dresses to Stanley as well. If the editing is to be believed, Stanley is still sewing models into dresses even as Heidi is in front of the crowd introducing the show. Of course, since many of the eliminated designers are actually sending out shows as decoys, he could actually have still had a good amount of time left depending on what order they went in. Hard to know!

Michelle's show is very much as we saw in the three-look preview: urban warriors, lots of outerwear. Stanley's is all black and gold and shiny. I believe he described it as "urban opulence." Interestingly, his models have a noticeably faster walk than the other two shows. Patricia's has lots of prints and textures, and seemed the least self-conscious of the three.

Weirdly, there are giant screens at the back of the runway, projecting images as the models walked. I was trying to figure out if these would have been picked by the designers or just done by the producers without talking to them. Stanley got pictures of buildings - OK. Patricia got nature photos - looked like a screensaver. And during Michelle's, they showed closeups of fabric...and pictures of balloons? Yeah, I doubt the designers were involved in that.

For the final judging, Michael Kors has returned! He gets to give his opinion without knowing how things have gone for these three throughout the season.

Michael and Nina like Michelle's looks, including the "bleeding heart" sweater Tim was so worried about. Kors loves her fabric choices. They are reminded of Robin Hood, in a good way. Heidi is kind of meh on the whole deal and doesn't like the silhouettes. And they think the compass is silly, by the way.

They are amazed at Patricia's artistry and how she made everything from scratch. Michael actually liked the plaid suede shirt that looked so unpromising in the work room. "Art teacher's on an acid trip!" he crows. Heidi mentions that she saw the whole crowd light up with smiles, but Nina isn't having it and now SHE doesn't like THESE silhouettes.

They can't quite figure out who Stanley's target customer is. Michael thinks the finale gown is too "Dancing with the Stars" and too long for the model. Zac Posen is inspired to say that "women love things that twinkle" - no surprise there seeing as how he does almost all red carpet wear himself. Heidi points out a few places where she saw evidence of last-minute sewing. Nina is annoyed that even though she point-blank told him to pair the bejeweled shirt with black pants instead of the matching skirt, Stanley left it as it was. Also, Stanley's paid-for embroidery can't stand up to ones Patricia made herself, and overall his work looks too much like stuff directly from a catalog.

They decide Stanley was better as a team leader than an individual designer, and is clearly out of the running for winning the show. It comes down to Michelle's more salable items versus Patricia's artistry. Nina is clearly set on Michelle, but Heidi points out that they shouldn't just be picking the designer most likely to be a commercial success. In the end, Heidi is outgunned, and Michelle is named the winner!

I wish her the best. I suspect the next we see of her (in fashion, rather than reality TV), she'll be making a dress for Nina for some event during the next season's finale...

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